Host Alicia Keys launched “my sisters” Michelle Obama, Girl Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jennifer Lopez on stage.

Over the weekend, the 61st annual Grammy Awards appeared extra prone to being notable for its controversies over performances and who wasn’t exhibiting up than for the precise ceremony. Ariana Grande very publicly backed out of acting on this yr’s broadcast and referred to as Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich a liar, after Ehrlich informed the press Grande “felt it was too late for her to tug one thing collectively” for the Grammys. In accordance with Grande, who has one of the fashionable songs in the world in the intervening time, she was informed that she couldn’t simply sing it, however wanted to do a medley with different songs chosen by Grammy officers, which is paying homage to studies from final yr that Album of the Yr nominee Lorde was informed she couldn’t carry out her personal music, however might seem if she sang “American Woman” in tribute to Tom Petty. This kind of baffling out-of-touch mindset on the a part of Grammy officers is a part of the rationale why artists like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Infantile Gambino have refused both to look or to carry out at the Grammys.

However solely a yr after the Grammys got here underneath blistering criticism for the dearth of girls represented in main classes (e.g., only one lady gained a solo award throughout final yr’s telecast), in addition to for how they have been treating feminine performers; and after a sexist response from the outgoing head of the Recording Academy, who stated ladies wanted to “step up” in the event that they wished to rise within the business, the powers that be appeared to need a course correction—at the very least on the floor.

Alicia Keys hosted a broadcast wherein ladies and folks of coloration have been highlighted as presenters, performers, and winners all through the ceremony, and which included some assist from a sure former First Girl of the USA. Just like among the steps the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences has taken to quell criticisms of the Oscars, the Recording Academy additionally expanded the variety of nominees in its prime classes—album, report and tune of the yr, and greatest new artist—from 5 to eight in an effort to embody a extra various slate of nominees. In fact, the Grammys are normally remembered extra for the performances and quirky moments than for who gained what. However there have been important moments and wins final evening.

There have been tributes to each Diana Ross and Dolly Parton. Quincy Jones’ win for Quincy within the class of Greatest Music Movie was his 28th award, giving him the report for many Grammys gained by any residing artist. Cardi B grew to become the primary solo lady ever to win Greatest Rap Album. Girl Gaga gained the primary award of the printed, Greatest Pop Duo/Group efficiency, for “Shallow,” her duet with Bradley Cooper from their film A Star Is Born, and gave a heartfelt speech about psychological well being and what the movie has meant to her. After deciding to attend and successful for Greatest Rap Track with “God’s Plan,” Drake was minimize off mid-speech whereas saying the music business is “a enterprise the place typically it’s as much as a bunch of individuals that may not perceive what a mixed-race child from Canada has to say, or a fly Spanish lady from New York.” And Infantile Gambino’s “This Is America” took house each Report of the Yr and Track of the Yr, the primary hip-hop tune to win both award. Nonetheless, illustrating among the aforementioned points, Donald Glover was not in attendance to simply accept both award.

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